Cory Bent ‘grateful to represent East Coast’ as Wanderers announce signing of U SPORTS first overall pick

The Wanderers are happy to announce the club’s top U SPORTS prospect Cory Bent has signed a professional contract with the team.

Bent was chosen as the number one player in the CPL-U SPORTS draft by Stephen Hart last November, after firing 24 goals in 36 games for the Cape Breton Capers.

The young winger went on to show impressive pace, power and attacking play in the Wanderers preseason camp before it was put on hold.

“I think the fans will love him,” said Hart. “He has that desire and passion for the game and fighting quality, so he has certainly looked the part.”

Cory Bent at the beginning of training camp in March. Photo: Scott Thieu.
Cory Bent at the beginning of training camp in March. Photo: Scott Thieu.

22-year-old Bent — who is from Preston, England — and played for his hometown team’s academy, becomes the club’s seventh international player.

“It’s a feeling of relief and gratitude that through all the hard work I’ve now been able to achieve a dream of turning professional and I’m just grateful to represent the East Coast again,” he said.

Hart has known about Bent’s potential for several seasons after seeing him star for the Capers, where he was also named MVP of Cape Breton’s 2017 championship winning team.

“I think he has all the qualities to step up to this level, he’s very fast and he is very direct,” Hart said. “He can also play on the right or on the left wing and anywhere across the front-line which is extremely helpful.”

Bent on the ball before training camp was put on hold. Photo: Scott Thieu.
Bent has been praised by Coach Hart for showing desire and passion for the game in training. Photo: Scott Thieu.

Bent had left Preston’s academy and was playing for nearby Clitheroe in the UK, when he was scouted by Capers coach Deano Morley, who brought him to Nova Scotia four years ago.

“Playing for Cape Breton and going to University has been great for me and after that I didn’t want to go anywhere else, so I’m just really happy to be in Halifax and I’m excited to learn from the coach and the players here and get going as soon as we can,” he said.

Bent joins his former Cape Breton teammate Peter Schaale at the Wanderers.

The big German is one of a number of Wanderers players who have complimented the winger on his preseason form.

“He’s exciting to watch and he’s very dangerous one on one so he has made me a better defender playing against him in training with Cape Breton,” Schaale explained.

Cory Bent impressed his teammates at training camp. Photo: Scott Thieu.
Cory Bent impressed his teammates at training camp. Photo: Scott Thieu.

Bent, whose dad Junior played more than 300 games in the English Football League, has remained in Halifax through the pandemic.

“It’s hard on everyone but I think everyone understands the severity of the situation and we are staying connected as a team to be ready when we get the green light,” he said.

The Wanderers players are following club designed workout routines to stay fit in isolation during the quarantine period, with the Canadian Premier League season currently on hold.

Virtual tactical discussions and team building sessions are also happening during this period.

“As a group we just want to do well for the fans and we’re just hoping we can get back on the pitch soon,” Bent said.

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Congratulations Cory!